The Flood, 2016, 2019, 2020 (th-dialect) – an âtayôhkêwin (Sacred Story)

 

The Cree word for “sacred story” or “myth” is âtayôhkêwin (in y-dialect), âcathôhkîwin (in th-dialect). Solomon Ratt recorded a first video telling of this story in February 2016. In 2019 he prepared a text edition of the story with translation that appears in the table below. Finally, we have audio only of yet another telling, recorded from a 2020 Winter Solstice Zoom session. The various editions of the story give us the opportunity to reflect on the storyteller’s art, adjusting and changing his telling to suit his current audience.

thiskipîwThe Flood
ôma âcathohkîwin kikiskinawahamâkonaw kita-nâkatîthihtamahk îkâ âyahcitiniw kita-wîhtamawâyahk kihci-isihcikîwin kiskîthitamowin. ikwa mîna kiwîhtamâkonaw î-mithwâsik kita-wâh-wîcihitocik athisitiniwak.This sacred story shows how one is to guard against revealing sacred teachings to strangers. It also shows the importance of people helping each other.
kî-pihtam îsa î-kî-nipahimiht osîmisa mahihkana. ikwâni îsa kâ-sipwîhtît wîsahkîcâhk. kinwîsk kî-pimohtîw. kîtahtwî otihtawîw okîskimanasowa nipîhk î-ây-itâpithit.Wisahkecahk heard that his younger brother, the wolf, had been killed. It was then he decided to leave. He walked for a long time. Eventually he came upon a kingfisher looking out onto the water.
“kîkwây ôma kâ-kitâpahtaman nisîmî?” itwîw wîsahkîcâhk.“What are you watching younger sibling?” asked Wisahkecahk.
“âhkikwak ôko î-matwî-mîtawâkîcik mahihkan-osoy,” itwîw awa okîskimanasoy.“Seals playing with a wolf tail,” said the kingfisher.
kisiwâsow wîsahkîcâhk wîtha î-kiskîthihtahk osîmisa î-kî-nipahikothit âhkikwa. nimitâwaham wîsahkîcâhk î-nâtahk mahihkan-osoy. ati-nâh-nipahîw âhkikwa, î-tâh-tahkamât akaskwa ohci. kîkâc iyawis î-mîscihât. paspihîw mâka anihi okimâwa, cîmisikwanaya. ikwa otinam mahihkan-osoy. kâwi-pimâcihîw osîmisa mahihkana.Wisahkecahk was angry because he knew it was his younger brother the wolf who had been killed by the seals. Wisahkecahk goes out into the water to get the wolf tail. He kills the seals, stabbing them with arrows. He spares the chief, wîmisikwanay. He gathes up the wolf tail. He revives his younger brother the wolf.
ikwâni îsa wîsahkîcâhk kâ-papimohtît. kîtahtawî kâ-wâpamât athîkisa î-kwâskotithit.Later, Wisahkecahk was walking along. He saw a frog jumping.
“î-nitawi-nipiskîyân, î-nitawi-nipiskîyân, î-nitawi-nipiskîyân,” î-isi-nikamot îsa athîkis.“I am on my way to heal. I am on my way to heal. I am on my way to heal,” sang the frog.
“îy! nohkô, tânitî ôma î-itohtîyan” itîw îsa wîsahkîcâhk anihi athîkisa.“Hey Grandmother, where are you going?” said Wisahkecahk to the frog.
“ôtî ôma. wîsahkîcâhk îsa î-kî-kakwî-nipahât cîmisikwanaya ikwa nîtha poko ta-kaskihtâyân ana ta-nanâtawihak,” itwîw îsa athîkis.“I am going over there. Wisahkecahk tried to kill cîmisikwanay and I am the only one who can heal him,” said the Frog.
“tânisi mâka mâna kâ-itôtaman ispî kâ-nipiskîyan?” kâ-itwît wîsahkîcâhk.“What do you do when you do the healing ceremony?” said Wisahkecahk.
wîhtamawîw athîkis wîsahkîcâhkwa tânisi mâna kâ-itahkamikisit ispî kâ-nipiskît. ikwa maya kâ-kîsi-wîhtamawât kâ-nipahikot wîsahkîcâhkwa. ikwa ikota wîsahkîcâhk pahkonîw anihi athîkisa ikwa î-ati-kikiskahk animîthow athîkisayân ikota ohci ati-kwâskohtiw.The frog tells Wisahkecahk what she does when she does the heal healing ceremony. As soon as she tells Wisahkecahk everything, Wisahkecahk kills her. Wisahkecahk skins the frog and and puts the skin on himself and hops from there.
“î-nitawi-nipiskîyân, î-nitawi-nipiskîyân, î-nitawi-nipiskîyân,” î-itwît aspin î-kwâhci-kwâskohtit. î-nâtât anihi cîmisikwanaya. ikota wîkithihk kâ-takohtît.“I am on my way to heal. I am on my way to heal. I am on my way to heal,” he says as he hops on to where cîmisikwanay was at. He arrives at his home.
“nipî-nanâtawihowân ôma. awas! kahkithaw poko awiyakak ta-wathawîcik ôta ohci mîkiwâhpihk ikwa ikospî nika-nanâtawihâw awa.”“I have come here to heal. Go away! Everybody has to go out of the tipi if I'm going to heal this one.”
ikwâni ikota ohci kahkithaw wathawîwak.Everybody leaves.
wâwâkohtîw ikota î-kâh-kanawâpamât ôho cîmisikwanaya ita îsa akaskwâhtikwa î-ayâthit osôthihk. ikota tâpokwâni akaskwa kâ-otinât kihtwâm î-tah-tahkamât anihi, î-nipahât. maya kâ-nipahât ikota ohci î-pî-thiskipîthik. ikota ohci nipiy î-pîcipathithik, anita ohci osôthihk. mitoni kî-ati-thiskipîw. wîsahkîcâhk kî-ati-sipwîpahtâw ikota ohci, ispatinâhk î-ispahtât.He walks about, stooping, as he looks at cîmisikwanay and he sees the arrow sticking in its tail. Right away he takes the arrow out and he stabs cîmisikwanay. He kills him. As soon as he kills him, out of the tail comes water and water, more and more water. It starts to flood the earth. Wisahkecahk runs from there and he runs to the top of the hill.
nitomîw kahkithaw pisiskiwa.He calls all the animals
“âstamik! wîcihik! mihtot poko ta-osîhtâyahk,” î-itât. kahkithaw ôko pisiskiwak pî-ispahtâwak î-pî-wîcihowîcik mihtot kita-osîhtâcik. ikwâni ikota mitoni misiwîskamik î-kî-thiskipîk ikwa ikota mihtotihk pah-pôsipahtâwak aniki pisiskiwak.“Come, help me! We have to build a raft.” All the animals came running, coming to help build a raft. So they hurriedly build a raft and the water was every where. All the animals board the raft. They floated from there. They floated for a long time. There was not one sign of earth.
ikwâni ikota ohci papâmâhokowak. kinwîsk ôma ikota kâ-papâmâhokocik. namwâc nânitaw ita askiy ohci-wâpahtamwak.Then Wisahkecahk says, “Someone will have to dive to get some earth. I forgot to bring along some earth,”
kîtahtawî wîsahkîcâhk kâ-itwît. “awiyak poko ohcitaw kita-kôkît ta-nâtahk askiy. nikî-wanikiskisin askiy ta-pî-itohtatâyân.”The loon spoke up first. “Okay, I will dive. I'm a good diver.”
mwâkwa wîtha nîkan kâ-pîkiskwît: “ahâw nîtha nika-kôkân. ninihtâ-kôkân ôma.”So the loon dives into the water.
ikwâni, aspin kâ-kôkît.He dove for quite a while.
mitoni kinwîsîs ikota kâ-kôkît. kîtahtwî kâ-pîkôpît, î-kî-nistâpâwît îsa. wîsahkîcâhk otinîw osîmisa. pôtâtîw. kâwî î-pimâcihât. kâwi âhthîw anita mihtotihk.Suddenly he emerged. When he emerged from the water, he was dead from drowning. So Wisahkecahk picks him up. He blows on him. He brings him back to life. He sets him back on the raft.
“awîna ikwa?” itwîw wîsahkîcâhk.“Now who?” says Wisahkecahk.
ikwa nikik ikwa wîsta kâ-pîkiskwît, “nîtha ikwa nika-kôkân. ninihtâ-kôkân ôma,” itwîw.So the otter comes in. “I’ll go now. I'm a good diver,” he says.
ikwâni ikota ana kâ-kôkît. kinwîsîs wîsta îkotî ayâw, atâmipîhk. ikwâni kîtahtawî kâ-pîkopît ikota wîstâ î-nistâpâwît. wîsahkîcâhk otinîw anihi anita nikikwa. pôtâtîw ikwa mîna pimâhcihîw kîhtwâm âhthîw anita mihtotihk.So he dives in. He too was underwater for a quite a while. Eventually the otter emerged and he too had drowned. So Wisahkecahk picks him up. He blows on him. He gives him back life. He puts him back on the raft.
“awîna ôma ikwa?” itwîw wîsahkîcâhk“Okay, Now who?” says Wisahkecahk.
amisk awa kâ-itwît “nîtha ninihtâ-kôkân. nika-kôkân.”Beaver comes up and says “I'm a good diver. I'll dive.”
ikwâni wîsta amisk awa kâ-kôkît. ay kinwîsîs ikwa nawac awa amisk atâmipîhk ayâw. kîtahtawî poko kâ-pîkopît wîsta î-nistâpâwît. ikwâni otinîw wîsahkîcâhk. pôtâtîw ikwa kîhtwâm pimâhcihîw âhthîw kâwi mihtotihk.And so beaver goes ahead and dives into the water. And so the beaver was underwater longer than the others. Suddenly he too emerged dead from drowning. So Wisahkecahk picks him up. He blows on him and gives him back his life. He puts him on the raft.
ikwa ana wacaskos kâ-itwît “nîsta ôma ninihtâ-kôkân. mahti nîtha ikwa.”Then the little muskrat comes up and says “I too am a pretty good diver. Let me go now.”
aspin kâ-kôkît awa wacaskos. mitoni kinwîsîs ikotî ikwa wîtha atâmipîhk kâ-ayât. kîtahtawî poko kâ-pîkopît.And off he goes into the water. He was underwater for a long time. Eventually he emerged out of the water.
ocihcîsihk îsa ikota askiy astîthow ikwa mîna wîpitîhk. ikwa wîtha wîsahkîcâhk otinam ikwa nahastâw mihtotihk.He has bits of earth on his paws and in his teeth. So Wisahkecahk takes that earth and puts it aside on the raft.
“hâw kîhtwâm kôkî. kîyâpic mistahi askiy kinitawîthihtînaw.”“Okay, dive again! We need more earth.”
ikwa ana wacaskos kîhtwâm kôkîw. ay, kinwîsîs ayâw ikota atâmipîhk. kîtahtawî poko kâ-pîkopît. ikwa mîna kîhtwâm askiy astîthow ocihcîsithihk. otinam wîsahkîcâhk ikwa askiy mihtotihk nahastâw.Again the muskrat dives. He is underwater for a long time. Eventually he emerged. Again he had earth in his paws. Wisahkecahk takes the bits of earth and sets it aside on the raft.
ikwa mîna kîhtwâm kôkîw awa wacaskos. nîswâw kîyâpic î-kî-kôkît. ikwa mitoni mistahi askiy pâh-pîtâw. mâmawi nîwâw î-kî-kôkît. pîthisk nahithikohk askiy ayâwak.The muskrat dives again. Twice more he dives. He brings quite a bit of earth. Altogether he dives four times. Eventually there is quite enough earth.
ikwa wîsahkîcâhk ati-pâh-pôtâtam animîthow askiy. kinwîsk pâh-pôtâtam askiy, î-misisihtât. ikwa ispî î-itîthihtahk nahîthikohk î-misâthik atotîw osîmisa mahihkana kita-wâskâpahtâthit. piyak tipiskanisiw awa mahihkan.Wisahkecahk blows on the earth. He blows on the earth for a long time, making it bigger. When he thought the earth was big enough he told his little brother the wolf to run around it to see how big it was. The wolf was gone for one night.
“osâm apisâsin askiy,” kâ-itwît wîsahkîcâhk kîhtwâm î-mâci-pôtâtahk askiy. kinwîsîs pôtâtam. ikwa mîna sipwîtisahwîw osîmisa mahihkana. nîso tipiskanisithiwa ikwa, kiyâpic osâm apisâsin askiy. “The earth is too small,” says Wisahkecahk. Once again he blows on the earth. He blows on it for quite a while. Once again he sends his little brother the wolf to run around it. The wolf was gone for two nights. The earth was still too small.
kîhtwâm mâci-pôtâtam askiy wîsahkîcâhk. kinwîsk pôtâtam. ikwa mîna sipwîtisahwîw mahihkana. kinwîsîs ikwa, mâka pîthisk kîhtwâm takopahtâthiwa. kîhtwâm wîsahkîcâhk pôtâtam askiy, nawac î-wî-misisihtât. ikwa mîna sipwîtisahwîw osîmisa.Once again Wisahkecahk blows on the earth. Once again he sends his little brother out. This time he was gone for quite a while but he eventually arrived. The earth was still too small. Wisahkecahk blew on the earth, making it bigger. Once again he sends his little brother to run around the earth.
mitoni kinwîsk kî-pîhîwak mâka namôtha ohci-takopahtâthiwa.They waited for him for a long time but he never arrived.
“ikwâni nahîthikohk misâw askiy,” kî-itwîw wîsahkîcâhk, î-ati-sipwîhtît.“There, the earth is big enough,” said Wisahkecahk, leaving from there.
ikosi pitamâ ikwa anima.That’s it for that one.

Winter Solstice Storytelling: Audio only

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *